France Tariff Triomphe

arc de triomphe Paris #1

We’re pleased to announce that Genability has added French residential utility rates to our database! Our list of covered countries now includes the US, Canada, Mexico, Australia, South Korea, UK and France.  We plan to add coverage for Germany and Netherlands later this summer.

France Electricity Market Primer

Government-owned, Electricité de France (EDF) is the largest energy company in France, and along with its subsidiaries dominates all market sectors, including transmission (RTE), distribution (ERDF), generation and retail supply. EDF owns 80% of the country’s installed capacity and generates 86% of its electricity production. At the end of 2013, 91% of the country’s 28 million residential customers were under regulated tariffs mostly with EDF. And although customers have been able to select their retail provider from EDF and a few dozen smaller retail suppliers since 2007, most customers have remained with the incumbent EDF.

France is an unique market because of the significant proportion of commercial and residential buildings that utilize electric heating systems, as compared to other European countries with some estimates as high as 72% vs just 5% in Spain. In the winter and cold weather this creates a peak in demand usually around 7 pm, when people get home and turn on their heat, lights and appliances. France has sought to manage the demand with some conventional and some complex rate structures.

Ace of Base (wait, weren’t they Swedish?)

EDF’s regulated residential tariff, called tarif Bleu, actually comes in three different options. The first, which the majority of residential customers are on, is called “Option Base”. This consists of a flat consumption rate (€0.15/kWh) plus an annual fixed charge which is based on the customer’s power connection. These rates are fixed year-round and are the same across all regions of France. Option Base works best for low or high consumption customers with a highly variable load that cannot easily be shifted to a time of day, when a TOU rate might be more economical.

What Time-of-Use do you have?

The second Option is EDF’s time-of-use (TOU) offering, aka “Option Heures Pleines / Heures Creuses”. We got excited when we read this, as it is one of the more complex residential TOU tariffs we’ve seen to date. While rates themselves are pretty straightforward (€0.11/kWh Off-Peak, €0.16/kWh Peak, fixed seasonally and throughout the country), the complexity lies in the TOU period definitions. More specifically, the hours of the day that are characterized as “peak” and “off-peak” vary by region and can change over time in any single location. For example, a customer in Paris postal code 75001 may be assigned one of two time slots (off-peak hours from 11 pm – 7 am or 11:30 pm – 7:30 am). All other hours are considered peak. In comparison, a customer in Lyon postal code 69001 may be assigned one of three time slots (off-peak hours from 11 pm – 7 am or 11:30 pm – 7 am or 10 pm – 6 am). Based on our analysis, there are about 80 different TOU periods currently offered throughout the country. Customers cannot choose nor switch to a preferred time slot. They are created and assigned by the power distributor ERDF, according to the conditions and local capacity of the distribution network.

Tricolor Days


A year to date view of Option Tempo Coleur du jour – via EDF

We’ve saved the best for last. The third and final option is called “Option Tempo” and is a tariff with consumption rates that vary dynamically by “day type” and time of day. By “day type” we mean that the year is divided into 22 red days (most expensive), 43 white days, and 300 blue days (least expensive). The color of the day is announced a day in advance by EDF, and is closely related to the weather forecast, which in turn influences the expected demand for electricity on the grid. Unlike the TOU Option, the Tempo Tariff’s Off-peak hours are always 10 pm to 6am throughout the country. This tariff rewards customers that can curtail their load on the 22 days of the year when the grid is most stressed (typically January) with the lowest consumption rates  EDF has to offer on any tariff (€0.10/kWh Off-Peak, €0.115/kWh Peak). This tariff works best for customers with large loads and the flexibility to shift load on a day’s notice.


All EDF’s residential Tariff Bleu options are now available to use in our APIs, including our Tariff APIs, Signal, Switch and Conduct. As with all other markets, we have not only the tariffs and their rates, but also complete TOU definitions, holiday and Tempo Day calendars, TOU regions and everything else you need to accurately calculate costs, savings and schedules in France.

We plan on adding coverage for Commercial and Industrial (C&I) Tariffs later in the year, as well as typical electricity and solar profiles for France. Stay tuned for an update.

Sign up today and bring transparency and clean power to France. If you are an existing customer you most likely already have access, but feel free to contact us if you have questions about licensing or permissions.

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